Illinois Veteran’s Benefits

Updated: May 9

Benefits for the over 650,000 veterans in Illinois

Illinois Veteran’s Benefits

Illinois Veteran Education Benefits

Illinois Veterans’ Grant

Eligible veterans can get a tuition grant from The Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG) program that pays tuition and fees at all Illinois community colleges, state colleges, and universities. The program covers up to 120 credits. Veterans must meet the following requirements to qualify:

● Six months of Illinois residency immediately before entering military service

Honorable discharge

● One year of domestic active duty or any length of active duty overseas during a time of conflict in that country

● Illinois residency within six months of discharge

Illinois National Guard Grant

Enlisted National Guard members with a minimum of one year of service qualify for an education grant. Early-career officers also may be eligible. This grant pays for eight semesters or 12 quarters of undergraduate study either full-time or part-time state-supported colleges.

Children of Veterans Tuition Waiver

The State of Illinois awards scholarships to one child in each Illinois county each year. The scholarships to the University of Illinois benefit children of war veterans. Children of veterans from WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam war periods, Gulf War, and the War on Terror are eligible. The grant gives priority to the dependent children of deceased or disabled vets.

Illinois State Bright Start Fallen Heroes Scholarship

Children of military service members who died during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom can get scholarship money from the State of Illinois. Family members can apply to have $2,500 deposited in a Bright Start account for the education of surviving children.

Illinois State Educational Aid for Children Between 10-18 Years Old

State aid is available to dependent children between the ages of 10 and 18 through the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. For a child to be eligible, the veteran must have died or been declared 100% disabled because of military service.

Illinois MIA/POW Scholarship

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs also offers a scholarship for military spouses or dependent children of current service members and some veterans. Funds are provided for tuition and fees for a four-year college program on any state-supported college.

Illinois State Troops to Teachers

Returning military members who have served a minimum of six years can get help from this program if they want to become Illinois public school teachers. The veteran must have been given an honorable discharge to qualify. The program offers:

● Education grants of up to $5,000 for a teaching certification program

● $10,000 bonuses for teachers agreeing to teach for a minimum of three years in a high-needs Illinois school

● Information resources for earning state teaching certificate programs

● Academic and Career Advice and Assistance

Illinois State Veteran High School Diploma Program

War Veterans who enlisted in the service before receiving a high school diploma can apply to receive a diploma. Qualified Illinois veterans of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam are eligible for this program.

Illinois Veteran Employment Benefits

Illinois State Employment Preference for Veterans

The State of Illinois shows a hiring preference for honorably discharged Veterans who want employment with the state’s Central Management Services. Guard and Reserve members also qualify for preference if they serve for four years. Illinois residents are considered for employment before out-of-state applicants.

Illinois State Jobs for Vets Program

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) gives transition assistance to veterans. The program provides job training and placement for veterans. IDES coordinates with other agencies to help returning military members to re-enter the private sector successfully.

Reemployment Rights for National Guard Service Members

Deployed Illinois National Guard members have employment protections under Illinois law. To inform members about their rights, the Illinois Attorney General published a book listing and explaining the regulations.

Illinois Veteran Medical Benefits

Illinois State Veterans Care Program

This program offers comprehensive health care coverage for uninsured Illinois Veterans. Services include:

Vision care

Prescription drugs

Lab tests and x-rays

Clinic visits

Inpatient and outpatient hospital care

Physical, occupational and speech therapy

Mental health and substance abuse services

Emergency medical transportation

Limited dental services

Applicants must meet an income limit to be approved and pay a monthly premium of under $100 to participate.

Illinois Warrior Assistance Program

Illinois provides resources including a 24-hour toll-free helpline (1-866-554-IWAP or 4927) for veterans with either Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms. TBI/PTSD screening is available.

Illinois Veteran Housing Benefits

The state of Illinois sponsors two housing programs for veterans.

@ Home Illinois can provide a $5,000 down payment and closing cost assistance to purchase a home or a refinance of the present house. Veterans also qualify for some federal income tax reductions, and lender-paid mortgage insurance for veterans and their families. The benefits are available to first-time buyers, repeat buyers, and homeowners looking to refinance statewide.

1st Home Illinois is a program for all veterans (does not need to be their first home purchase) and all first-time homebuyers that provides $7,500 in down payment and closing cost aid. Buyers can apply for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a competitive interest rate under this program.

Illinois GI Home Credit Program

To lower a borrower’s federal income taxes, Illinois veterans and currently serving military who are buying a home for the first time can take advantage of Illinois State Mortgage Credit Certificate(MCC). Contact your local Illinois County Assessor’s office to apply.

Veterans Specially Adapted Housing Tax Exemption

When a disabled veteran uses federal funds to purchase an adapted home or remodel a home for easier access and use, the State of Illinois provides a property tax exemption. The exemption continues as long as the veteran, or the spouse, or unmarried surviving spouse lives on the property.

Illinois State Veterans Tax Exemption for Mobile Homes

The state program provides an exemption from the Mobile Home Local Services Tax Act. Illinois veterans, spouses, and surviving unmarried spouses who use the mobile home as a primary residence can contact a local County Tax Assessor office for more information on how to apply.

Illinois Veterans’ Homes